Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Take from a man his right to speak to himself? - Pramoedya Toer - II

Pramoedya Ananta Toer | Photo - European Pressphoto Agency/ The New York Tims

Is it alright to be rich?

It's not alright to improverish people. It is alright to enrich yourself and very many others, too.

Will Muslims continue to fast? Maybe, if at all it is to remind everyone that we cannot stop doing whatever, to get rich and making less people poorer.

The problem with poverty is, there is no limit in being rich. And that probably will be the reason, perhaps, why Muslims will continue to fast. Relative poverty is part of the equation.

Getting rich has associated conditions. There will be extreme poverty if too many people remain poor. The poor must be empowered and they need to be freed from historical shackless. They cannot be compelled to fast forever, but rather to be free to fast.

One of the many things to aid this empowerment must be the freedom of expression, for the better, and against impediments that assure the wealthy no on else should have the wealth and the power.

Of these impediments Pramoedya Ananta Toer reminds us that power manifestation permeates all of life, including literature. The people he says, who propagate isolation in the literary sphere, and keep it sanitized against dirty politics are those very ones who are "established in the lap of the Power 'in effect.'"

"...There once arose the belief that politics is dirty, hence literature must be kept separate from politics. Really, it is easy for politics to become dirty in the hands of and from the business of politicians who are dirty. If there are some that are dirty, surely there are also some that are not dirty. And that literature properly must be kept separate from politics actually [and] emerges from the thoughts of the directors, whose politics is to be apolitical. Politics itself can not be limited in its meaning to a party system. It is every aspect of that which involves Power, and as long as society exists Power also exists, no matter the manner of its existence, dirty or clean. And it can be said that literature that "rejects" politics in reality is brought into being by those writers who are already established in the lap of the Power 'in effect.'..."

From - "To What Extent is a Novel Dangerous?" - Essays, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Translated by Alex G. Bardsley

The earlier first part is h e r e ! !

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